The June'10 edition of Modern Materials Handling (pgs 38-41) has a great article by Bob Trebilcock, Executive Editor on improving your Supply Chain visibility. He addresses the intricacies of the alignment, balance and agility in the new economy with reduced inventory in the pipeline. Why? - better forecasting and decisions processes.
It was easier in the past to make independent-niche-best-of-breed (BOB) SCM application selection decisions to support the various working groups, departments or work cells. Many of us just created an excel spreadsheet solution and emailed or posted these spreadsheets back and forth. A few times I forgot to highlight or tag the changes, making it difficult for the receiver to see the changes. Opps! But not today.
New integrated supply chain systems exist today that dramatically improve visibility at the points of consumption so that suppliers way deep in the replenishment supply can improve their delivery forecasting. Trebilcock's article addresses the extended supply chain - commencing outside the four walls of the plant and extending into WMS, MES, WCS, Asset Mgmt/ALM/eAM, YMS, TMS, SC Collaboration. New supply chain analytic tools can guide better decisions based on risk, cost, time factors, quality and selection-attribute criteria to grow margins.
Trbilicock concludes "a collaboration platform can alert a decision maker when an exception to the plan occurs, and provide real-time visibility into the state of the supply chain to resolve the problem" . Nice. Supply Chains are beginning to think for themselves and resolve their own issues. What's next!